5 tips to travelling with oxygen this summer

Its that time of year when the summer vacation or trip across the waters is much closer that planning can commence! With research on things to do, places to see and the final itinerary those who travel with oxygen also have a checklist that cannot be left unplanned.

Here is our top 5 quick tips for those travelling with oxygen:

  1. It is always best to plan as far in advance as possible at least 2 months prior to your holiday. This will allow you enough time to organise oxygen at the destination plus plan and confirm any documentation you may need from your GP.
  2. Check temperature levels of your holiday destination so you can pack appropriate clothing. If hot make sure you keep yourself cool with a sun hat and if cold make sure you pack lots of layers to warm yourself up.
  3. Plan according to your mode of transport whether this is car, train, or plane. Each mode of transport has rules whilst travelling. Especially air travel you may need to obtain ‘fitness to fly’ certificate.
  4. Check that you have the correct volumes and amount of oxygen to last the duration of your holiday – if you are unsure then speak with your oxygen company to check and confirm.
  5. Consider any allergies you have and medications you take. If you are allergic to feathers, ask the hotel if anti-allergy bedding, pillows may be available and also make a note of your medication just in case you happen to fall ill on holiday.

Our experienced and friendly team can answer your questions, queries on getting oxygen and travelling with oxygen in many languages. Do give them a call on email or online enquiry here they will be happy to help!

Q. Can you take oxygen when travelling on a plane?

Oxygen on a plane

Well we have the answer!

For those of us who vitally need medical oxygen throughout the day or evening one question that is regularly asked is…

Can I take my medical oxygen on a plane when I fly?

As a team who has been arranging oxygen for travel here at OxygenWorldwide this is in our work DNA! It will depend on your airline and you must always check especially if you are getting connecting flights on your travels that you adhere to the guidelines and rules. Some airlines will allow you to travel with your Portable Oxygen Concentrator if you have completed a ‘fit to fly’ form and had this confirmed. Other airlines may forbid this and you will need to make arrangements.

Our worldwide contacts with oxygen suppliers and airport personnel combined with our multilingual customer service staff means we are able to assist you in your native language. This can be particularly important when having problems during your travels.

If you are starting to plan your summer holidays to any of these destinations and travels it can seem stressful and over whelming, but please be assured that arranging travel with oxygen can be taken out of your hands and made much easier when using an experienced team. This means you have more time to plan your itinerary, buy those new summer clothes and get excited dreaming about what you will see, explore, discover in your chosen holiday destination.

If you require oxygen for your holiday then please complete this form and we will get back to you with a bespoke quote based on your needs and requirements.

Happy travels!!

Travelling with oxygen? A short guide what to do and what not to do…

Travelling with oxygen by car or other forms of transportation may seem intimidating. With a little planning, it can be easy, and safely, done. Travelling with portable oxygen by Aeroplane, by Cruise ship, by Car, by Train can be done without any stress when you know how. Here are a list of popular destinations that people travel to for holidays.

What to Do…

  • DO allow time to make arrangements for your oxygen needs when travelling long distance, especially if it will be by plane. Each airline has their own policies and procedures for travelling with oxygen. If travelling by car or train, you might need to arrange both portable and a more long-lasting oxygen supply.
  • DO carry your portable tank only in the case supplied with it.
  • DO keep your oxygen delivery system out of the bright sunlight or other heat sources.
  • DO bring extra batteries to power your concentrator in case of emergency.
  • DO be aware that high altitudes, whether flying or just driving in the mountains, can increase your need for supplemental oxygen.

What not to Do…

  • DON’T overlook the fact that portable oxygen tanks can only carry a finite amount of oxygen.
  • DON’T put a portable tank inside a backpack or other carry bag.
  • DON’T place your tank, cylinder or portable concentrator in a car trunk or other tightly enclosed space.

OxygenWorldwide works with Oxygen Suppliers across the globe in over 80 Countries

Trouble breathing? Shall I keep working….

When you are living with a condition this affects many areas of your life including your work, career and can cause additional stress upon youself. Employers should also take care and dewdiligence and there are many ways in which you can conitnue to successfully carry on working instead of long term disability.

Depending on your career and employment if you have conditions such as severe asthma, COPD or other respiratory diseases here are a few simple taks you can ask your employers to undertake so that you are able to perform to your best ability each day you go to work:

  • If you workplace is large then ground floor would be much easier if you require a desk space
  • Being flexible for doctor appointments and even working from home or remote working
  • Parking near to the entrance of your workplace or even reserve a space nearer for you
  • Being near windows to allow ventilation and air as and when you require

Take care of yourself and make sure you do what is comfortable for you, if you need to take your medical oxygen to work with you then do so and make appropriate arrangements with management and the HR teams.

What we do is care – look up our OxygenWorldwide services here to see what we do for travelling with medical oxygen to keep you moving and enjoying the best out of life. Do not let anything stop you and holidays are a certain way to visit the ones you love, see cultures and experience new sites. When you book your next holiday entitlement from your job then do let us know and we can assist with all your oxygen needs.

Flying away? How to prepare your mind, body and oxygen levels…

It’s time to pack and for some this may mean very careful planning but with our experts at @oxygenworldwide we can help remove a lot of stressful planning when your essentials include medical oxygen.

Flying on aeroplanes can take away energy cause fatigue, dry out skin and dehydrate you. When traveling remember to not cause yourself too much stress and plan in advance, book taxis or transport to the airport in plenty of time and make sure airlines are aware of any requirements in advance such as dietary conditions or special assistance needs.

Make sure you always carry some water on you to stop dehydration and make sure you move around a bit to keep your circulation moving especially when travelling long haul and to any of these countries that we also deal with regularly when delviering oxygen.

It is highly recommended to carry any important or recent medical records, in case you need to be seen by a different provider while traveling.

And if you aren’t feeling well, it might be worth putting off air travel.

When organising your trip use our FAQ section that will help answers a few of those questions all in one place. Also if you have any queries please do get in touch as our team are on hand to help when travelling with oxygen.

Happy holidays!

M.O.V. – Medical Oxygen Vest.© read on…

 M.O.V. –  Medical Oxygen Vest.©

Rutger Berntsen, founder of international company, OxygenWorldwide has designed and named the M.O.V described as a body warmer vest that was based upon the principles of a portable oxygen concentrator (POC).  This medical oxygen vest contains the necessary equipment to provide medical oxygen to the wearer. The vest would be ideal for oxygen users who require a constant supply of medical oxygen and the life line of being able to be mobile and freely move around without the constraints of a more conventional oxygen device. The M.O.V is designed for e.g. young children or active sport users to give the ability to move around more freely such as going to play a game of golf or running around in the playground.
A portable oxygen concentrator (POC) is normally carried around by means of a shoulder strap. This is not convenient when one has to make movements beyond normal walking. The main advantage of the M.O.V. is that the weight of the equipment in the vest is equally divided over two sides located under the arm pits. The fact that the equipment is ‘concealed’ inside the vest could take away the burden of having to carry around a medical device, which to many medical oxygen users indicates the appearance that you are in fact a ‘patient’. Flexible solar panels are placed on the chest and back of the vest to provide (at this stage) power to the display panel. To make the system fully operational the batteries should (at this stage) be charged by plugging into a AC outlet.
For more information and/or a 3D animation contact: rutgerberntsen@oxygenworldwide.com

Would You Like Your Very Own Robot?!

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Home Oxygen Therapy is a medical treatment for patients suffering from chronic lung diseases. It involves the use of an oxygen concentrator to deliver oxygen via a nasal cannula or face mask to the patient and some may require being tethered to the machine on a constant basis. COPD is an umbrella term for these conditions and patients have restricted airflow through the lungs and experience coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. The effect on quality of life can be significant and some are unable to participate in physical activities and require help to move. Home oxygen therapy aims to improve the patient’s freedom, health and quality of life by allowing treatment at home. Patients are encouraged to try and maintain a certain level of activity as research has shown that if exercise and mobility are retained then lung capacity and respiration improves.
However some patients find this difficult as they are tethered to a pressurized oxygen container via tubing and the weight, which is typically 4kg, can make transporting and lifting awkward especially for the more elderly patients. Some patients use a small hand cart to transport their equipment around or use a portable unit which they can carry over their shoulder.  Despite the huge benefits of H.O.T it still imposes restrictions on the user’s movements, mobility, ability to participate in certain activities and quality of life.
A Follower Robot has been devised to help improve these patient’s lives. The robot can carry the equipment thereby reducing the physical burden and increasing freedom of movement. It is capable of following the patient’s movements and can follow behind the patient. It is simple to use, low weight, compact and at a low cost.
They have started testing these robots on H.O.T users to see if they are indeed beneficial and can aid them in their daily activities efficiently. Most users have found the robot easy to use and to manoeuvre with. It is hoped that after more trials are completed it can be manufactured and sold commercially for COPD patients. These robots could drastically improve patient’s lives allowing them to easily move around and enjoy more out of life which could have a positive effect on their health also. More importantly, how amazing would it be to have your own robot?!
References:  www.robomechjournal.com and http://link.springer.com

Respiratory Breakthrough!?!

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Scientists claim to have found the root cause of asthma which could also aid in the treatment of other respiratory diseases like COPD. This breakthrough could mean that there could be a new treatment within 5 years.
They have found a protein within the airways which they believe triggers an asthma attack. Asthmatics seem to have higher levels of this protein and when they breathe in a trigger such as dust or pollen these protein molecules cause a rapid increase of calcium within lung tissue cells. High levels of calcium within these cells make them contract and cause the airway spasms which trigger an asthma attack.
The presence of this protein makes cells more sensitive to any asthma triggers, which then makes an attack much more likely.
A drug already exists which can deactivate the protein and clinical trials could start within 2 years, raising hope that a treatment could be available within 5 years.
It is hoped that a few courses of treatment would be enough to stop asthma attacks. Not only this but there is hope that it may have a role in tackling COPD and chronic bronchitis for which there is currently no treatment. Hopefully at a minimum it may prevent flare-ups for these patients and make them less susceptible to the triggers such as dust, smoke and pollen, which can stimulate a severe respiratory event. This could help COPD sufferers enjoy fewer flare-ups and less respiratory distress improving their ability to lead more normal lives.
References: www.dailymail.co.uk/health

OXYGEN ALSO NEEDS NITRIC OXIDE FOR US TO BREATHE!

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A new study conducted by Jonathan Stamler, a professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH, and colleagues has shown that the respiratory cycle involves three gases and not just two. He says their findings will transform our understanding of the respiratory cycle and could save lives as it will alter our treatments of various associated diseases linked to the respiratory system and also affect blood banks.
The current understanding is that the respiratory cycle uses blood to transport two gases – oxygen and carbon dioxide. Red blood cells pick up freshly inhaled oxygen from the lungs and carry it to cells in the tissues of the body; and then they bring back carbon dioxide as a waste product to be exhaled from the lungs.
However their study has proven that without the presence of Nitric Oxide it doesn’t matter how high the oxygen level is, the cells cannot accept the oxygen without it. The researchers show how nitric oxide controls the blood flow in small blood vessels inside tissue in a process known as “blood flow auto regulation.” It is the Nitric Oxide that controls the release of oxygen from red blood cells into the tissues that need it. Haemaglobin in the Red Blood Cells needs to be also carrying Nitric Oxide to enable blood vessels to open and to supply the oxygen it is carrying to the tissues.
Prof Stamler says “Within the tissues, the tiny vessels and the red blood cells together make up the critical entity controlling blood flow. Red blood cell dysfunction is likely a hidden contributor to diseases of the heart, lung and blood such as heart attack, heart failure, stroke and ischemic injury to kidneys.”
If you suffer from a condition where there is a lack of oxygen uptake to your cells, it may not be the answer just to increase the oxygen supply, but to also look at whether your Red Blood Cells are functioning correctly and if there is an adequate Nitric Oxide supply. Then if necessary treat the Red Blood Cell problem in conjunction with oxygen therapy.
The study also has implications for blood transfusions. Recent evidence shows that blood transfusions lacking nitric oxide have been linked to higher risk of heart attacks, disease and death. It’s not enough to just increase oxygen content of the blood via a blood transfusion. If the Nitric Oxide mechanism is failing then the oxygen will not be able to make it to its destination. Blood in blood banks are known to be deficient in Nitric Oxide and transfusing this blood may actually make things worse by plugging up blood vessels in tissues and to solve this the nation’s blood should be replenished with Nitric Oxide.
It may be the case that many sufferers on oxygen therapy in the future could be helped and treated even more by investigating their Nitric Oxide levels, as there could be additional failings in their respiratory system that could be investigated and more successfully treated.
References: www.medicalnewstoday.com and www.sciencedaily.com

Can swimming and a need for oxygen therapy mix?

The summer and holiday season is only round the corner, looking forward to swimming in the villa pool or in the sea. For those suffering with lung disorders requiring oxygen therapy this may seem like a fantasy, but it doesn’t have to be.
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If you have lung problems swimming could be the perfect exercise for you. As your body is floating it’s less strenuous on your breathing and can help to improve your fitness and breathing. It’s so beneficial that it even helps people who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People with COPD have a decreased lung capacity and get less oxygen with every breath than healthy people; therefore they tire out more quickly with just regular activities like walking or vacuuming. But those who exercise in a pool or swim lightly often end up with less breathlessness and can walk longer on land because of their lungs becoming stronger. It is a form of exercise that you can control, you can stop and start when you wish and go at a speed that suits you.
If you swim regularly at a private pool to improve your confidence and fitness then swimming on holiday won’t be an issue and you can enjoy your holiday more.
You may think that it is impossible to combine oxygen therapy and swimming but there are those that have managed it with some handy hints to share:
•    Go to the swimming pool at a quiet time or when there is a slow lane available. Sometimes the swimming pool offers lessons or times for disabled or poor swimmers.
•     You can have your POC at the side of the pool ready to use if you feel short of breath.
•     Start off slow and don’t push yourself too hard or fast. It will take time to build up your lung strength and fitness.
•     You can get extra tubing to use with your cylinder and ask someone to walk alongside you in the pool to carry your cylinder as you do laps. You can ask your provider for spare tubing and cannula that you can use as a spare ‘swimming set’. Check with the pool staff first to ensure they don’t mind you doing this.
•     You can walk to and from the pool to increase your exercise and use your oxygen on the way there and on the way home and have it by the pool, so if necessary you can use it after each lap. As your fitness improves you will hopefully use it less and less.
•     You can get an inflatable cushion and have your oxygen machine floating alongside you as you swim if you need oxygen constantly. Many find they can still use it in shallow and calm sea water too so you can swim in the sea on your holiday.
•     If you’re worried about the warmth and humidity of an indoor pool severely affecting your breathing you can go and visit and sit by the poolside with your oxygen to ‘test the waters’ first.
•     There may be an option for you to use your rehab pool at the hospital for a while so that you can get used to swimming in a more controlled environment which will help with your confidence before venturing to a public pool, ask your doctor about options.
•      There are water-proof cases that you can buy for your oxygen cylinder so that you can have it in the water with you.
•     Start off slowly with just floating, walking around and exercises before moving onto short bursts of swimming and then onto laps. Do what you’re comfortable with doing and progress at your own speed.
•    Please note: Some indoor pools with water that contain a high level of chlorine and have bad ventilation might do you lungs more harm than good.
Obviously it depends upon the stage and severity of your lung condition and your reliability upon your oxygen and which equipment you use but there are options and ways around it. For most people they are able to take up swimming using these handy hints and find that after a period of time their fitness improves both in the water and on land and they become less reliant upon their oxygen. Also it means that you can then swim on holiday and enjoy the sun, sea and sand more!
If you require oxygen still on holiday whilst swimming or just want to have a back-up POC nearby on the shore or by the pool side then there are global oxygen supply companies that can supply these for you whilst you are on holiday in whichever country you’d like to visit.
References: www.healthunlocked.com and http://copdathlete.com